Activists have filed a new proposed ballot initiative to legalize marijuana sales in Washington, D.C., reports Marijuana Moment.
The measure would end prosecutions of cannabis cultivation, sales and consumption. It would also prevent marijuana from being the basis of police searches and provide for expungements of prior cannabis convictions.
District voters approved a measure to legalize low-level marijuana possession and home cultivation in 2014, but the city has been prevented from implementing a retail model due to a congressional rider barring it from using local tax dollars for such purposes. The new proposal could run into the same problem, but activists say they plan to push ahead nonetheless.
Dawn Lee-Carty, executive director of the campaign behind the initiative, told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview that the currently unregulated cannabis system that’s in place has failed to address the problem of racially disproportionate enforcement, with arrests still occurring and putting people at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Lee-Carty said that, ideally, the measure would appear on the November ballot this year.
“This initiative legalizes the possession, to the extent possible by current law the use, sale, and purchase of cannabis and CBD products for any person over the age of 21 or older,” text of the measure states. “Where not possible the initiative will make police enforcement and prosecution the lowest priority. Reverting to law automatically the soonest date possible in the future.”
The proposal also contains several noteworthy provisions such as requiring that, in order to obtain a marijuana business license, individuals must have resided in D.C. for at least two years. Those on parole would also be eligible, the measure states.
To qualify for the ballot, activists would have to collect 24,835 valid signatures from registered voters—just as a separate campaign to decriminalize a wide range of psychedelics successfully did.
Read the full story at Marijuana Moment.